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This year DHF LYFE & Livin’ LYFE Youth Program members participated in Arte Americas Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead celebration in Fresno, California (with a limited showcase and COVID-19 safety precautions in place.) DHF Youth Organizers form their curriculum with a critical lens on history and intersectionality. Youth members created an altar of hand painted frames to honor and feature the 49 individuals that were lost at Pulse Nightclub, in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016, in a mass shooting targeting the LGBTQI+ community. It was named one of the deadliest incidents in the history of violence against queer people in the United States. Hate has no place in this world, we extend our hearts to the families affected and to the folks who continue to battle being themselves in today’s world.
The youth not only learned about the tragedy of that night, but the personal stories and the light these individuals shined on the world while they were with us. They joined the frames of couples that died that night together w/ a bracelet to signify their everlasting love.
The youth want to educate their peers and uninformed adults that the LGBTQI+ community has a rich history and life stories of love, joy and courage. This ofrenda provided the community with a piece that demonstrated the passion, beauty, diversity, and the love in the lives of the 49 victims prior to the events at the Pulse Nightclub Latin Night. They wanted to show how many positive experiences of the LGBTQI+ Hispanic community are found through dance, poetry and creation of safe havens.